Complicating Conscience, Refreshing Discontent

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Paul J. Medeiros


The 19th Century New England author Thoreau provides an approach to conscience and unjust laws approximating that given by St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologiae. But the portrait of conscience given by Thoreau in the 1848 oration “Civil Disobedience” is incomplete. Thoreau’s approach is solved by accepting insights given in Part I and Part I–II of Summa Theologiae. Allowing St. Thomas’ insights requires reform of Thoreau’s civil disobedience and conscientious objection. But Thoreau’s arguments are given new life.


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How to Cite
Medeiros, Paul J. 2016. “Complicating Conscience, Refreshing Discontent”. Diametros, no. 47 (March):50-63.
Special Topic - Thomas Aquinas' Theory of Conscience and Contemporary Debates on Conscientious Objection
Author Biography

Paul J. Medeiros, Providence College

Dr. Paul J. MedeirosDepartment of PhilosophyProvidence CollegeOne Cunningham SquareProvidence, Ri 02918USA


Paul Medeiros serves in areas of Ethics with Providence College, a Roman Catholic institution located in Rhode Island, USA.

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